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Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

What are some strategies when trying to quit or cut down? What works for you?

Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

Postby David2 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:21 am

Are you guys familiar with the site tinybuddha? It contains so many useful articles!!

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/overcoming-painful-desires-beliefs-that-feed-addiction/

I read this one today and I think it's very relevant to gambling addiction.

Gamblers will gamble for different reasons, but at its core, at least for me personally, it was a way to make money. There is definitely an element of chasing losses at least sometimes when a loss is fresh in your mind, but I don't think it's the primary reason.


I think over time, due to the numerous wins a gambler has had, it keeps them coming back for more. If you win big, you can do it again, right? I've come to notice that a lot of people dealing with a gambling addiction had "beginners luck" and that doesn't surprise me at all. And so our belief system is set up to think that with a bit of luck we can win life changing money.


But when we challenge these thoughts, you can quickly realise just how irrational such thoughts are.

First of all, winning the max on a pokie, $10k, not only is it extremely unlikely, it is NOT life changing money. But more importantly, the slot machines are programmed to take a certain percentage of whatever is put into them. So, even if you do get lucky, luck is a short term thing. If you keep returning back to the pokie machines, no amount of luck is going to prevent you from losing it all.

So I think it's important to change your core beliefs when it comes to playing the pokies. This is not something that happens over night. Something that has developed over many years will take time in order to truly change your core beliefs.

Every time you get a gambling urge, tell yourself "I can't win money playing the pokies". Forget about all the money they've taken from you. Its lost and you're not getting it back. But learn from the mistake, let go of any regrets, so that you can embrace change, and move forward with your life.
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RE: Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

Postby BriM » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:27 pm

Hi David

Thanks for this really awesome and useful article. I love Tiny Buddha!

Bri
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RE: Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

Postby Dave68 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:14 pm

David2, probably right on the money there. It's crazy when you think about it. I mean i reflect back to that time i spent $413 over a three hour period, betting just 50c a spin, sometimes less. I kept feeding the 50's in, and that time even went out of the venue, to the ATM to get more cash and put it back in, because you have this feeling that 'it has to pay out'. But by the time you're down a few hundred, even if you get a good win, you're probably not going to get back anything like what you put in. Even the psychology of walking to the bank ATM three times to avoid the $2.50 venue fee....and yet you proceed to lose the $400+, is just so irrational. And when you think to yourself after you forlornly go home you wonder what makes you do that.

I can honestly say, in 15 years of playing pokies, i never once got the five wild symbols on a payline. Not once, in what must be millions and millions of spin events. Twice i got 5 scatters on the Dolphin treasure, which is a 400-1 shot. Twice in how many millions of spins? And all for the chance of winning at best a couple of thousand? The occasional win of a few hundred keeps luring you back, but gee whiz, the cold hard light of day must tell you that you're just pushing it uphill trying to get the win.

But for me, what kept me trying and trying, was seeing many people in the venue winning big. I'd think to myself, surely it's my turn soon? If they can get it, surely you can too? Nah.....no way, not for me. And maybe 15 years of watching others get the big wins and jackpots just made me snap. As i posted in a previous post, not once did i collect a cheque for a $1000 win..in the time that law came into play. Not a once...and i probably lost 150K trying to do that over the 10 years or so that law's been in place. As you're rightfully highlighted..those odds are not worth taking anymore.




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RE: Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

Postby David2 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:27 am

Interesting you should say that Dave because that is a big part of what kept me going back too. My "gambling mates" seemed like they were always much luckier than me. Of course, they don't tell you about the money they lost though. Also I think certain events happen that fuel the addiction. I remember playing a machine and the player on the machine next to me winning the jackpot for $13k. And you know what he said to me? I won the jackpot at this venue last week. That was hard to take lol.
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RE: Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

Postby pamela » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:42 pm

makes really good sense thankyou
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RE: Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

Postby David2 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:13 pm

Glad to hear Pamela. How are you travelling?
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RE: Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

Postby Phoenix » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:39 am

Yes that theory makes perfect sense David however gambling is not sensible and money is not why gamblers gamble. A gambling addiction is a compulsive disorder which feeds on adrenalin rush, not money.... hence the saying 'He would bet on a fly crawling up the wall'. Chasing past losses is just the lie we gamblers tell ourselves to justify our gambling. It's an excuse to gamble, not the reason why we do.
I don't mean to be contrite, I just think it is very important for gambling addicts to know exactly what they are dealing with. Gambling is not logical, it's emotional & money has little to do with it. Just think back to when you were gambling & when you were betting really large amounts. Do you remember the rush of adrenalin pumping through you? That's what we gamblers are addicted to and money, unfortunately, is just the vehicle to get us there.... in my opinion.

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RE: Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

Postby Dave68 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:15 pm

Phoenix (2/07/2014)Yes that theory makes perfect sense David however gambling is not sensible and money is not why gamblers gamble. A gambling addiction is a compulsive disorder which feeds on adrenalin rush, not money.... hence the saying 'He would bet on a fly crawling up the wall'. Chasing past losses is just the lie we gamblers tell ourselves to justify our gambling. It's an excuse to gamble, not the reason why we do.
I don't mean to be contrite, I just think it is very important for gambling addicts to know exactly what they are dealing with. Gambling is not logical, it's emotional & money has little to do with it. Just think back to when you were gambling & when you were betting really large amounts. Do you remember the rush of adrenalin pumping through you? That's what we gamblers are addicted to and money, unfortunately, is just the vehicle to get us there.... in my opinion.



Bit of that i reckon. I can't help bit think i was a bit of a video game player in the 80's, being born in '68 i was a teenager in the age of Galaga, Space Invaders, Pac-Man etc and i did play them a lot in my youth. And upon thinking about it, part of playing pokies is trying to get 'a better score' in one sense, trying to get the feature, get the 5 scatters, or the screen-full of Pandas or something like that. But money was the tool with which one could play the machines to get that rush. Of course when you lose, you still feed more money into it, but nowadays it's not just 20c pieces back in the 80's but $50 notes now.

Reading from this poker book written in the 70's, it did have a table of 'gambling intensity'....and the small-sounding loss that a pokie would purport to pay out, that mystical 87% or some such. But with the spins per event so rapid, you bet so many more activities than say a horse race, or a weekly lotto ticket. Thus playing pokies supercharges the loss aspect, as well as probably amping up the 'buzz' factor of trying to get the features. You spin the reels probably every 5 seconds or so, and i reckon to the one who has the addictive personality, it can get out of control. I did with me, although now it's 12 weeks clean, and i am still maintaining my anger at the machines in order to reinforce to myself to keep away from them.
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RE: Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

Postby David2 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:09 pm

Hi Phoenix,

It is a complex addiction. I don't think it's as black and white as saying it's because of an adrenaline rush. I do other activities to satisfy my need for action. If it was as simple as that, I don't see why I wouldn't have replaced the pokies for the other activity. There are different types of gamblers, and different reasons for gambling.

What I do know, though, is that in addition to the pokie machine being programmed to payout a certain percentage, they have also been programmed to increase the number of "near wins" you have. Have you noticed how frequently you are always so close to getting the feature? Make no mistake that is no coincidence they are designed like that to make them more addictive.

So instead of thinking about the money you've already pumped into the machine, you begin chasing the features, and the focus becomes getting a feature, and you don't feel satisfied until you get one. You hit a feature, it doesn't pay so you're back to even, so you rationalize with yourself, "well the next feature has to pay" and the viscous cycle continues.

Phoenix (2/07/2014)Yes that theory makes perfect sense David however gambling is not sensible and money is not why gamblers gamble. A gambling addiction is a compulsive disorder which feeds on adrenalin rush, not money.... hence the saying 'He would bet on a fly crawling up the wall'. Chasing past losses is just the lie we gamblers tell ourselves to justify our gambling. It's an excuse to gamble, not the reason why we do.
I don't mean to be contrite, I just think it is very important for gambling addicts to know exactly what they are dealing with. Gambling is not logical, it's emotional & money has little to do with it. Just think back to when you were gambling & when you were betting really large amounts. Do you remember the rush of adrenalin pumping through you? That's what we gamblers are addicted to and money, unfortunately, is just the vehicle to get us there.... in my opinion.


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RE: Overcoming the Painful Desires and Beliefs That Feed Addiction

Postby Phoenix » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:01 am

There was a recent study on gamblers which was done at the University of California. In that study they found strong evidence to suggest that gamblers are born that way, not created through conditioning. Apparently, according to this study, it's in our genes.

I don't know what use this information is to us other than to serve as evidence that we were screwed from birth! lol
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